Benjamin Franklin – True American Geek

Our challenge: Do we remain in awe of his capacity and accomplishments or do we take on his mantle of “Doing the Best with what we have” and look at our issues and do something about them?

Health care, alternate energy, grass roots organizing, empowering small groups of people to do great things, advancing learning and changing the world with shared ideas. Benjamin Franklin gave us a blueprint. We can build a better world with it.

About Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin - Ignite Seattle 8Here is a short list of Benjamin Franklin’s accomplishments: retired from business at age 42; established the connection between lightening and electricity; devised a flexible catheter and bifocals; charted the Gulf Streams and the weather’s circulation patterns; created business opportunities for his apprentices and, on their deaths, encouraged their wives to run the businesses; extended the sharing of knowledge through his creation of the first lending library; and as Postmaster General improved the early Internet (the Post Office).

You can find Benjamin Franklin on the web at www.ben-franklin.org.

How To Not Suck At Pinball – Greg Dunlap

Pinball rules. Everyone loves to play. However everyone also loves to win, and the fact is pinball is hard. Luckily, getting better at pinball … not great but respectable … is actually pretty easy.

In this talk Greg Dunlap goes over the basics that will help you propel your game to the next level.

About Greg Dunlap

Greg Dunlap - Ignite Seattle 8
When Greg isn’t not at Shorty’s in Belltown, you can find him as a developer at Palantir.net. You can find Greg at his Web site, his Drupal blog and on Twitter @heyrocker.

You can find more about how to get better at pinball at Pinball.org and from the Pinball 101 video, both mentioned in Greg’s talk.

Making Gov 2.0 Work for You – Sarah Schacht

Doesn’t it seem like there’s a lot of “Gov 2.0” stuff out there right now? What can you do, as an individual to make your voice heard in the lawmaking process and what tools do you use?

This Ignite talk focuses on how to overcome the bureaucratic and technology challenges to communicating effectively with your lawmakers. By the end of five minutes, you’ll know how to make your email float to the top of a pile of thousands, how to stand out from the crowd, and how to do so without losing your sanity (or much free time.)

About Sarah Schacht

Sarah Schacht - Ignite Seattle 8Founder and director of Knowledge as Power, a non-profit group helping empower people to influence legislature. You can find Sarah on Twitter account, @sarahschacht.

An Astronomical Viewing Shelter on the Cheap – Jeremy Bingham

Using your telescope in the city can be frustrating with all the stray light all over the place. You can’t do much about the skyglow, but you can shield yourself from stray light sources nearby.

Rather than buying a pre-made shelter for hundreds of dollars, you can build one for about a hundred dollars. Jeremy Bingham will demonstrate in his talk how he did just that with a lot of PVC, some found wood, and a bunch of felt.

About Jeremy Bingham

Jeremy Bingham - Ignite Seattle 8When he’s not hanging out in his astro-shelter, you can Jeremy Bingham at his day job as the CTO for DailyKos.com, on his blog or on Twitter, @captain_tenille.

Inclusive Universe – Wendy Chisholm

Most designers are taught to design for the average user and as a society, we hold many assumptions about the characteristics of those users. However, products are used in unexpected ways and by unexpected audiences.

Challenging your assumptions and designing for non-average users can result in innovative products that can lead to a more inclusive, just society. And eventually, world peace.

About Wendy Chisholm

Wendy Chisholm - Ignite Seattle 8Wendy has focused on inclusive design since 1995 and co-wrote the book, “Universal Design for Web Applications” with Matt May in 2008.

You can find Wendy on her blog and on Twitter, @wendyabc. You can also find her dressed as Wonder Woman in a web comic with the other HTML5 Super Friends.

Full transcript after the jump. Thanks, Wendy!
Continue reading “Inclusive Universe – Wendy Chisholm”

Usability Beyond the Classroom – Jon Bell

It wasn’t until Jon Bell spent a year at Frog Design as a developer that he realized everything he learned in art school was either wrong, outdated, or only told half the story. Jon Bell condenses 10 years of design myth-busting into this action-packed talk.

About Jon Bell

During the day, you can find Jon Bell as an interaction designer at Frog Design. You can also find him on his personal site, blog and on Twitter. You can find the slides from Jon’s talk here.